Lacrosse Suffers Loss at No. 2/2 North Carolina

Kristen Hickey notched her second consecutive three-point game.
Feb. 14, 2016

Final Stats

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Despite holding the No. 2/2 Tar Heels to just a pair of goals in the final fourth of the game, San Diego State lacrosse fell to the reigning National Champion runner-up North Carolina, 20-7, in a Sunday matinee at Fetzer Field.

The Aztecs fall to 0-2 in the early season, while North Carolina moves to 3-0.

"This weekend was about rediscovering who SDSU lacrosse is because we have such a young group," head coach Kylee White said. "We're figuring out who we are and where we're going. We were able to play almost everyone because we really feel like we have the depth, but we were also able to expose some of the holes in our game and what we need to put more focus on in practice."

The Tar Heels displayed their offensive firepower early in the contest, taking a commanding 14-1 lead in to halftime. Alex Watson stymied North Carolina’s shutout attempt with a goal 12 minutes into the contest.

Upon returning from the intermission, San Diego State was able to quell the onslaught and limited the Tar Heels to just six tallies in the final 30 minutes of the game.

"In the second half, we had a better offensive effort and greater possession of the ball," White said. "In the first half, we were getting beat on ground balls, weren't protecting our sticks well and our transition wasn't crisp. But we had a good halftime discussion about not leaving with regrets and we were able to take care of the ball better and made them have to play us."

Kristen Hickey, the Aztecs’ leading scorer to start 2016, netted her first of the game, and third of the season, 3:16 into the second half. Freshman Jill Haight added the Scarlet and Black’s third goal of the game nine minutes later.

Elizabeth Rourke notched her first of the season with 10:42 remaining in regulation, thanks to Hickey’s helper, and Hickey added her second of the game just over a minute-and-a-half later. Vickie Porter and Grace McGinty capped off the Aztecs’ scoring for the final 20-7 tally.

Starting her second consecutive contest, Katie Merritt made a career-high eight saves on 22 first half shots on goal by UNC. Katrina Reeves stopped six shots on 12 attempts in second half action.

"Our goalies played outstanding in both games this weekend," White said of Reeves and Merritt. "It's awesome to see them sharing the cage and leading our defense."

North Carolina out-shot San Diego State in the match, 52-14, with Porter taking four of the Aztecs’ shots. UNC edged SDSU in draw controls, 23-7, and also scooped up 31 ground balls to San Diego State’s 15 ground balls. Nicole Lescano and Jacqueline Leibrandt caused a turnover each, while North Carolina caused 13 Aztec turnovers.

For their next contest, the Aztecs will return to the east coast on Sat., Feb. 27 for a 3 p.m. (ET) game at Saint Joseph’s. Said White, "Playing these out-of-conference games early shows us where we can clean up the things we struggle with. We'll have a lot to work on in the next week-and-a-half."

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